Direct Access

What is Direct Access?

Direct Access is the modern way to conduct litigation. As the name suggests, Direct Access allows you to instruct a barrister direct.

Why is this different?

Until quite recently barristers were not allowed to accept cases direct from members of the public. People who wanted a barrister to advise or represent them could only do so via a solicitor.

What are the advantages of Direct Access?

First and foremost, instructing a barrister direct is almost always less expensive than instructing a solicitor and a barrister. It's easy to see how it's cheaper to retain one lawyer rather than two.

With Direct Access you are able to keep litigation costs to a minimum. This is because you need only instruct the barrister to do particular pieces of work - drafting a witness statement for example or attending at an interim or final hearing. The day to day case management (writing to the other side, filling in court forms, photocopying documents etc) can be done by you. This can lead to very significant savings.

In what areas of law will members of Chambers accept instructions?

Most of our members are specialist family law barristers dealing with contact arrangements, maintenance issues and divorce cases.

Other members of Chambers have a broad range of expertise, ranging from education law to boundary disputes.

How much does Direct Access cost?

Members generally do fixed fee work so all fees would be quoted after an initial look at the papers. There is no charge for looking at your papers.

Fees will always be agreed before the work is undertaken. That way you will know in advance how much the hearing or advice is going to cost. As a very rough guide a conference could cost as little as £200 plus VAT and a hearing as little as £500 plus VAT.

Where can I find out more information about Direct Access?

If you want to find more about Direct Access then please do not hesitate to contact Chambers. You may find it convenient to send us an email outlining your case clerks@stourchambers.co.uk .

Further infomation is on the Bar Council website http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/for-the-bar/professional-practice-and-ethics/public-access/